- False claims spread this week about Biden limiting Americans’ meat consumption.
- Biden has not released any plans related to meat consumption.
- Prominent conservatives amplified the misleading claims online with widely shared tweets.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
False claims about President Joe Biden’s plans for addressing the climate crisis spread online this week, but the lack of truth over the claims didn’t stop Republican lawmakers from responding to or repeating them.
The Daily Mail published a story Thursday with a headline that began: “How Biden’s climate plan could limit you to eat just one burger a MONTH.” It included unsubstantiated claims that in order to meet Biden’s plan Americans would need to “cut 90% of red meat out of diet” and “only eat 4lbs a year.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared a screenshot from Fox News that echoed the claims, labeled as “Biden climate requirements,” along with the limit of “one burger per month.”
Fox News show host Larry Kudlow said: “Speaking of stupid, there’s a study coming out of the University of Michigan which says that to meet the Biden Green New Deal targets, America has to, get this, America has to stop eating meat, stop eating poultry and fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, and animal-based fats.”
In fact, the University of Michigan study cited by the Daily Mail and Fox was published in January 2020 and is not related to Biden or his climate plan. According to the authors, the study analyzes “hypothetical reduction in the consumption of animal-based foods in the US diet” and relies on “a number of simplifying assumptions.” It is not a policy proposal or suggestion.
When reached by CNN’s Daniel Dale, one of the authors said: “I, admittedly, have no idea what Biden’s plan has to say about our diets.”
Biden announced on Thursday that the US will aim to cut carbon emission 50% by 2030, but he has released few details on how his administration plans to meet that goal. During the announcement, Biden made no mention of Americans’ meat consumption.
The Daily Mail and Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The claims about Biden’s plan were amplified by conservatives on Twitter, including members of Congress.
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted the false claims, saying “Joe Biden’s climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?”
Fellow freshman GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted an apparent reference to the false claims, writing “The Hamburglar,” alongside a photo of Biden eating a burger. She added in quotes: “No burgers for thee, but just for me.”
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the Fox News screenshot, saying: “I’m pretty sure I ate 4 pounds of red meat yesterday. That’s going to be a hard NO from me.”
Representatives for Boebert and Greene did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. Representatives for Abbott and Trump Jr. could not be reached.
All of the tweets mentioned above that spread the false or misleading claims were liked and shared thousands of times on Twitter.